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Jim’s Last Night at Kemah Cruise Night

by H.M.C.C. Club members Ron and Melody Toppins

On May 27, 2013 long-time Houston Mopar Connection Club Member Jim Poncik passed away peacefully with the family by his side.

Jim’s last attendance at the Kemah Cruise Night was June 1, 2013. On this night instead of Jim and one of his beloved cars, visitors found only Jim’s empty chair. The familiar chair sat in its usual spot, but on this night it stood alone. Countless friends came by to say so long to an old dear friend or a recent acquaintance. Family members also came to meet Jim’s many friends. His wife, Pat, niece, daughter and son-in-law had never been to a Cruise Night and were touched to see the many friends that came to say goodbye Jim.

Jim at May 18, 2013 HMCC picnic
Jim at the May 18, 2013
Club Picnic

It is tradition to place a chair in a parking spot to “hold” it. The first person to arrive places chairs in surrounding parking spots so that specific friends can park together. On this night, Jim’s empty spot was surrounded by not only cars of beloved friends but family members too. The chair stood alone to honor a man that was more than a friend. A picture of Jim that was taken at this year’s club picnic, sat in the chair. A picture frame was on the arm rest for people to sign. And of course a Chick-fil-A cup was on the ground next to the chair.

Jim Poncik empty chair at Kemah Cruise
Jim’s Empty Chair at
the June 1, 2013 Kemah Cruise Night

Jim had been going to the Kemah Cruise Night for many years. He was there when 50 cars in attendance was a good night. He was there when Target refused to allow the cars to gather in the parking lot. He was there when Chick fi la and Home Depot stepped up to the plate and asked them to return. A good night to Jim was someone asking him about his car or better yet for a part that he had to sell...even if he didn’t have it yet.

Jim, you may be gone but not forgotten. You don’t need a chair to hold a spot in our hearts.

June 3, 2013

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